An Action-Packed Polo Season Comes to Carpinteria
S.B. Polo & Racquet Club Hosts International Competitors from May–October
Looking for a unique local sporting event? Grab your floppy hat, sunnies, and flute of champagne — polo season is upon us. From May 7–October 8, the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club will be hosting tournaments and events featuring some of the most talented polo players from all over the world.
For more than 115 years, spectators and top-tier competition have flocked to Carpinteria to enjoy what David Sigman, general manager of the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club, refers to as “Polo in Paradise.”
“Our club’s longstanding reputation for providing a top-notch polo experience, paired with the stunning backdrop of the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez Mountains, is why we continue to attract players and spectators from all corners of the world,” Sigman said.
Over the course of any given weekend, there are a variety of games to choose from, starting with the Friday Happy Hour match at 4 p.m., where guests can enjoy complimentary admission as well as Happy Hour specials and bar bites from the club’s excellent new restaurant Fieldside Coastal Steakhouse. Chef and owner Michael Amador — most recently of Santa Barbara’s Uncorked Wine Tasting and Kitchen — brings more than 30 years of food service experience to the club. Prior to Uncorked, he served as food and beverage manager at the San Ysidro Ranch and La Cumbre Country Club, so this is very familiar territory to him.
Fieldside is also open for lunch and dinner Wednesday–Sunday, so spectators can be assured they’ll be satiated while cheering on their favorite players in the sun.
Times for Saturday matches vary but can be found online at sbpolo.com, along with the full 2023 schedule and ticket purchasing options. Sunday polo begins at 4 p.m. The 12-Goal Series runs from May–June and is followed by the pinnacle 20 or High Goal Series. The season closes out with the Eight-Goal Series from September–October. (The higher the goal, the stiffer the competition.)
“What I’m most excited about this year is that the level of competition is at the very highest it’s ever been. Spectators will get to watch some of the most talented polo players from across the globe compete against the best of the best,” Sigman said.
The 2023 polo season kicks off on Sunday, May 7, with the Lucid Motors, Pope Challenge Cup. Starting at 11 a.m., guests can enjoy lunch at Fieldside. With bellies full and cocktails in hand, they can tune in for the Pony Parade at 3:30 p.m., followed by the national anthem and team introductions. At 4 p.m., the ball throw-in will occur, signaling the start of the games. General Admission tickets start at $30, and special seating arrangements, such as luxury cabanas or tents for groups of any size, are available for purchase.
The Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club is the third-oldest in the country and has long been a top destination to watch and play, attracting premier athletes. “This year, we are also thrilled to have three amazing and talented women: Sarah Siegel-Magness, Mia Cambiaso [Adolfo Cambiaso’s daughter], and Hope Arellano playing during our 12-Goal Season,” Sigman said.
When the match ends, the club’s after-party begins. With their general admission, guests can maximize their time in this blissful setting, enjoying food, music, and drinks into the night.
For those inspired to try their hand at the sport, the club also offers polo lessons and clinics at their Polo Academy and will host a variety of social events and happenings throughout the season.
“With a record number of teams and players participating at every level, this season is set to be one of the most memorable in the Club’s history,” Sigman said.
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